Lean Leadership at the Portfolio Level
By Dean Leffingwell
“It is not enough that management commit themselves to quality and productivity, they must know what it is they must do.” — E. Deming
Scrum, XP and Agile are well established at the team level, and the concept of self-organizing, self-managing teams is becoming a new norm for the industry. However, these methods are mute, and sometimes even deprecate, the critical role that management plays in forming and leading teams, and advancing the strategic, tactical and human capital objectives of the enterprise. That does not scale. On the other hand, the current values, philosophy and behaviors of many managers may not reflect the needs of the next generation of knowledge workers. That doesn’t scale either.
Lean Thinking takes a different view, and recognizes that management must take a lead role in assuring success of a lean change initiative. In this tutorial, Dean Leffingwell describes eight key principles of Lean|Agile Leadership, principles that “Lean-Thinking Manager Teachers” can use to support, encourage and lead the changes necessary to help the enterprise achieve the business benefits that only Lean and Agile at scale can provide. Included in the presentation are specific readings and homework exercises that individuals can use to further their personal Lean|Agile learning journey. We continue to see that Agile and Scrum deliver value and are catching the eyes of leadership individuals. But how does a large enterprise thrive with a Scrum framework that was made for 5-9 individuals? SAFe has garnered a lot of attention as a potential framework for enterprises with large product teams (5 or more scrum teams on a product line). It calls for the overall alignment throughout the organization so that the Scrum teams making up a large product development team can deliver valuable, high quality product increments with transparency and technical excellence.